THE BIG PARADE November 25 2015
For millions of Americans, watching a gigantic floating Snoopy, plus other character balloons, marching bands, clowns, performers and more, make its way down Central Park West and Sixth Avenue in New York City is an annual ritual that kicks off the holiday season.
When the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade began in 1924, about 250,000 people attended. Today, 3.5 million spectators typically line the event route, with another 50 million tuning in from home. It all ends with the guest of honor, Santa Claus, who's been a party of every parade to date.
1927, Year of the first balloon character, Felix the Cat, joined the parade. This Year, expect to see stars such as Hello Kitty, Paddington and perennial favorite Snoopy, who has made the most appearances at 38.
$100 reward for finding a giant balloon in 1928 (about $1,400 in today's dollars). After the parade, the balloons floated over NYC while slowly deflating via safety valves. Each one was equipped with a return address label.
650 pounds of scrap rubber Macy's donated to the U.S. government in lieu of hosting a parade during the WW II years of 1942-44. When the parade started up again in 1945, more than 2 million people attended.
400,000 Approximate cubic of total helium needed to fill this year's giant character balloon heads and trycaloons (a balloon character riding on the back of a tandem tricycle.)